The rise and fall of Blockbuster
AP Photo/Ron Heflin
- The first Blockbuster opened in 1985 in Dallas, Texas.
- Over the next two decades, Blockbuster became the top movie-rental business in the US.
- However, Netflix and Redbox started challenging Blockbuster since they had no rental fees.
- In 2010, the company filed for bankruptcy and closed all of its stores except for one.
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Before there was Netflix, HBO Go, or Amazon Prime, there was Blockbuster.
Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, Blockbuster was the top video-rental company in the US, but that didn't last forever. As other, more dynamic services emerged and customers complained about late fees, Blockbuster eventually went bankrupt. Today, just one store remains in Bend, Oregon.
Here's what happened in Blockbuster's 35-year history in the movie-rental business.
David Cook opened the first Blockbuster in 1985.
One year later, Cook expanded Blockbuster by opening three more stores.
In 1987, three major investors took Blockbuster to the next level.
Under new management, the company bought up local video stores and opened new ones under the Blockbuster branding.
In the '90s, Blockbuster hit a major milestone when it opened its 1,000th store.
In 1994, Viacom bought the video-rental company for $8.4 billion.
But trouble was on the horizon in 1997, as Blockbuster's future competitor, Netflix, was founded.
In 2000, Blockbuster made the first mistake that would mark its demise: The company decided not to buy Netflix.
In 2002, Blockbuster's other big competitor, Redbox, launched.
Despite the rise of Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster was at its peak in 2004.
But the company started making major changes in the early 2000s that would ultimately lead to its downfall.
In the following years, Blockbuster's market value dwindled, hinting at its bleak future.
In 2010, the rental company filed for bankruptcy after Netflix's popularity continued to grow.
However, Dish Network announced in 2013 that it would close the remaining Blockbuster stores.
Today, the Blockbuster franchise has dwindled to just one store in Bend, Oregon.
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